Best answer: Technically, yes. But only in the sense that both Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile are owned by T-Mobile and use that carrier's network to provide great coverage at a lower cost — that's where the similarities end. Beyond that point, you're looking at two completely distinct prepaid carriers with their own plan options, perks, and deals.
How are Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile different?
If you're looking to lower your phone bill without losing out on T-Mobile's excellent wireless coverage, you've probably considered Ultra Mobile vs. Mint Mobile. But you may not realize that, before T-Mobile bought up both of those brands in March 2023, Mint Mobile was technically a subsidiary of Ultra.
At that time, both carriers had the same CEO, David Glickman, and Mint was being presented as a hip, approachable alternative with unique plan options and the same access to T-Mobile's 5G/4G LTE network. That reputation was further cemented in 2019, when actor Ryan Reynolds purchased an ownership stake in the company and began appearing in all of Mint's commercials.
Ultra Mobile, on the other hand, was a bit more traditional, with retail locations, simple single-month plans, and a no-frills activation process. They're also one of the best carriers around for international users, as all Ultra plans come with unlimited talk to over 80 countries worldwide. Both carriers use the same 5G/4G network and offer unlimited talk and text, but Mint Mobile is indisputably cheaper across the board. The only catch is that, with Mint, you're required to purchase a minimum of three months at a time.
Now that T-Mobile owns both Ultra and Mint Mobile, users from both carriers are wondering what kind of changes will be implemented. Will prices go up? Will they get deprioritized in favor of T-Mobile users? Fortunately, T-Mobile has confirmed that Mint will keep its popular $15/month plan indefinitely. Beyond that though, only time will tell. In the meantime, both Mint and Ultra are excellent options — even if they aren't really the same.
Mint Mobile: Starting at $15/month
Mint Mobile has been one of the best MVNO carriers for years, offering outstanding T-Mobile coverage at a much lower cost. The carrier is unique in that you must buy your wireless service in 3, 6, or 12-month increments, with more savings the more you buy, starting at just $15/month and going up to $30/month with the Unlimited plan.
Ultra Mobile: Starting at $15/month
Ultra Mobile is another T-Mobile-owned prepaid carrier that provides wireless service for as little as $15/month, although that introductory plan only gets you 250MB of 5G/4G LTE data each month. Unlike Mint Mobile, Ultra also has retail locations and free unlimited talk to over 80 countries.
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After almost a decade of working in the e-commerce space, Patrick Farmer (he/him) began his career at Android Central as a Deals and Commerce Writer before moving into a new role as AC's eCommerce Editor in 2023. When he's not hunting down the best deals and offering shopping advice for our readers, you'll often find him listening to music, camping out at a brewery, or treating his cat like a human child.